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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With our first baby I was on bedrest for three months, he was 6 weeks early, and despite our plan to take Lamaze our evergy was spent on baby staying in and staying alive....I had a horrible birth experience, although without meds, in a hospital where I was told not to get in the bath "too early and waste it", and on my back much of the time, including delivery.

This time I am with a midwife in a birth center, but I am no sure if it would help to take some sort of birth "class" like lamaze or hypobirthing etc...also, can't decide if we should get a doula (if we can afford it) even thougth we'll be with a midwife?

any thoughts?

maria
 

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my thoughts would be to try and find a natural childbirth class to take - ask at the birth center, check out the bradley method of natural childbirth, or hypnobirthing.

we took lamaze with our first and IMO it was pretty worthless. I like the relaxation and deep breathing exercises in bradley much better.
 

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I would definitely take a natural childbirth class. I took Bradley the first time and really learned a lot. Even though you have given birth before, having had a bad experience a natural childbirth class will probably empower you to have a more positive perpective on this birth, feel more in control, and be more prepared. I also do recommend having a doula if you can afford it. I had my babies at a free standing birth center and my midwives were there the whole time, but I also had doulas and they were worth their weight in GOLD, in my opinion!
 

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I would seek out recommendations for a good labor and delivery class. If you find a good instructor, then I would recommend taking a class because the information you'll receive will probably put you at ease prior to delivery and during your delivery - and in my opinion, this could make a huge difference in how your l&d goes.

The class we're taking is through our hospital. It's neither lamaze or bradley. The instructor is also a doula (500+ births), and she's basically going through all the stages of labor and delivery, labor and pushing positions, medications, she tells a lot of stories from her experience, and there's a ton of Q&A. The emphasis is definitely on natural delivery, although I thought I heard her say she'll cover c-section at the next class. Overall, an excellent class and I'm really glad we signed up.

In short, I'd seek our recommendations, and if you can't find any, talk to the class coordinator to get a feel for what would be covered and if the instructor gets positive reviews. A sucky teacher might not be worth your time
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess that is just my worry. We have a pretty tight budget, and are having trouble finding any class that meets on a weekend (dh can't do it during the week b/c of work). I am wary of paying out tons of money and it being a waste...ie, not really telling us anything new. I guess my main concerns are pain management, not so much info about stages of labor etc... So far I have n ot found lots of "resources" that fit our weekend only needs....hmmmm...thanks for the feedback.

maria
 

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I'd say if you cannot find a class that meets your schedule, and you don't have a good idea that one of those classes is going to cover your concerns, then forget it. Try to do some research on your own.

My class has spent some time on pain management. Here's some of the stuff I'm remembering...

1) laboring in a tub of water - this is supposed to be very effective

2) trying different laboring/pushing positions. Different positions work for different people and it's basically trial and error to find one that works well for you. We received a couple printouts depicting the positions which we'll definitely take with us to the hosp. But we're also told that hte nurses and midwives will make their own suggestions as well. She also recommended using an exercise ball which apparently is comfortable for a lot of ppl.

3) distraction: via breathing exercises (our teacher downplays this...we spent about 10 minutes on it), videos (teacher said some of her clients have played videos of oceans and beaches and she thought it was effective), any distraction like a rubbing of the hands of feet if that works for you

4) She recommended to keep hot and cold packs on hand (or a sock full of rice you can microwave and cans of pop ready on ice). The warm pack feels good on the belly for some ppl. And I think the cold pack is good for back pains.

5) For food during labor, she recommended popciscles, ice chips, gatorade (or something with electrolytes, not just sugar), fruit juices (sugar good too), chicken broth soup, miso soup

6) And prior to active labor, she said #1 pain coping help is to make sure you're as rested as possible. She said if you're in early labor, just try to get as much sleep as you can because this will be fundamental to your stamina and pain threashold. As for food before active labor, she recommended carbs - what an athlete might load up on.

7) drugs: oxygen (not really a drug but helps some), nitrous oxide (not always available), epidural, narcotics

Hope that helps! If I think of something else, I'll post later.
 

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We took Bradley classes, and to be quite honest, we knew a lot of the stuff from our own reading and from the Bradley Method book (worth reading) but got more out of meeting others going through the same experiences and having the contacts after the birth.
 

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A friend of mine read the Bradley book (Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way) and felt empowered and knowledgable enough to do a natural childbirth - she did great!

I read the book, and probably would've been fine doing it with just that, but I opted to take a Bradley class too ($225-250). I think the class helped me a lot - especially just hearing from a real person about what labor is like, and getting more insight into what the book said.

B/c DH missed that birth (he was in Iraq), I'm doing Bradley classes AGAIN for this baby's birth (due in Oct/Nov). I'm looking forward to the refresher for myself, and I'm looking forward to my DH learning how to be a good coach! Without the support of your coach (who should also be knowledgeable in what you're wanting and how to help you with that), I think it would be a lot harder to do a natural childbirth (just my guess).

B/c my DH is in the military, he really doesn't have an easy schedule to work with for attending classes consistently at a specific time. But I have found that Bradley instructors are EAGER to teach you, and often they'll work with your schedule to fit classes around what you need! Example 1) for my dd's birth, my mom was my coach, but she lived 3 hours away - she obviously couldn't do the drive 12 weeks in a row one evening a week to do classes with me. I found an instructor who said she could do a power-weekend... so we picked one weekend, and that instructor packed EVERYTHING into that weekend (like 6-8 hours on Saturday, and 6 hours on Sunday). It was a lot at once, but it was awesome! And it was exactly what we needed! Example 2) Since my DH has a tough work schedule to try to work around, I found a Bradley instructor in our area who said she does private lessons ($45/session) for the Bradley method, and she will do them when we are able to do them! AWESOME! Example 3) While I found this instructor I mentioned above in #2, I also found another instructor in my area who said that if her class schedule didn't work for me, to let her know and she would be glad to work with me. You see, I think Bradley instructors are very eager to help you learn all about natural childbirth!

Oh, and if money is a concern... I think that $225 is WELL WORTH it for me to learn something that society isn't going to teach me: how to get a baby out of me! Yes, we all know it's worth it, but... if you can't afford it, I bet that you could find a Bradley instructor who would be willing to work with you on the financial end (ie: lessening how much they charge, letting you pay for it over a longer amount of time, etc.).

Yes, I think a doula would be awesome to have... but I decided against it, for financial reasons. I figured that reading the Bradley book(s), plus taking the Bradley classes... that should be enough to help me achieve a natural birth (especially considering that the coach is fully trained thanks to the Bradley classes - and that's KEY!). Sure, I would love to have a doula... but I don't think it's a necessity.

Good luck! Please, definitely take a class!!!!

-Elizabeth
 

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Doesn't the birth center offer classes? Many of them do,a nd the price of the class is included in the overall fee.

Ask your midwife if they offer any; if not, surely she can recommend some.

Lori
 

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I would say that most childbirth classes are there to discuss the mechanics of birth and how to fend off those well-meaning providers that come at you during birth (the pros/cons of breaking water, etc.).

HOWEVER, all you need to birth your baby naturally is already within you. We need more classes that teach a woman how to tap into her own intuition and body resources. The way to breathe, the way to move, is very individual and all based on what you and your baby need. No one method of "relaxation" or getting through it wihtout pain meds is going to work for everyone. Most relaxation techniques are a way for the mother to focus on something other than her own body (distraction) and often make women feel like they're not doing it right if they can't totally relax, breathe a certain way, or if they feel pain.

In other words, I think that most childbirth education gives women so much information that they are not in that space of listening to their body solely. There's so much information about numbers, progress, what "should" be happening that there is a loss of what is natural for YOU. I'm not saying some CE classes don't touch on that, but nearly all of what is taught is about your rights as a patient.

I know that I'm not in the majority here, but I will say that honing in on your own valuable inutition and developing trust in your body is so much more important than anything else. Unfortunately, that is not taught to us. We should be taught how to listen to our bodies and listen to our intuition as small girls. Once someone starts teaching a class that facilitates a woman getting in touch with that, then I will fully support it. I don't, however, support mechanics classes and a method that teaches that women "must" do certain things during labor.
 
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